South Asia

Mumbai terror attacks case in Pakistan hit by security  concerns

For four weeks since the suicide attack on the Islamabad district and sessions court on March 3, the trial of the seven accused in the Mumbai terror strike of November 26, 2008, was held up.

Defence lawyer Rizwan Abbasi said that the case underway in the Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) in the F/8 Markaz which was targeted, was being heard in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi and security concerns were voiced by judge Atiq ur Rehman.

He said an application was made to the law secretary to enhance security at the jail where the trial is also conducted sometimes since the accused cannot be transported outside.

Now the ATC has been shifted to sector G 11 and Mr. Abbasi has moved an application for the accused to be exempted from appearance. While no witness could be cross examined last month, the case will now be heard next Wednesday.

Earlier, the court heard the matter every week and that is likely to continue as is the practice if there is some satisfaction over security. About 32 witnesses have been examined so far in the case.

He said it was not only the Mumbai case but all other cases which were held up due to security concerns after the attack on the court. Most of the cases were adjourned as a result last month.

The prosecution had earlier said there were several witnesses left to be examined and they also had a list of some people whose testimony had to be recorded. The old team of defence lawyers was replaced by Mr Abbasi in a well publicized event last year.

He had said that the trial was moving very slowly and was planning to approach the higher courts for a speedy closure. India has been demanding that Pakistan punish the guilty in the Mumbai attacks and the suspects include Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younus Anjum.

Proceedings started in 2009 but have dragged on and one of the prosecutors Chaudhry Zulfiqar was shot dead in May 2013. The current prosecutor had also demanded increased security cover.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 12:39:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/mumbai-terror-attacks-case-in-pakistan-hit-by-security-concerns/article5872140.ece

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